|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.
Verse 38. - When the dust groweth into hardness. 'Aphar (עָפַר) here, as often, means "earth," or "soil," rather than "dust." When by the heat of the sun's rays the ground grows into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together, baked into a compact mass, then is the time when rain is most needed, and when the Almighty in his mercy commonly sends it. The consideration of inanimate nature here ends, with the result that its mysteries altogether transcend the human intellect, and render speculation on the still deeper mysteries of the moral world wholly vain and futile.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together? When the dust is attenuated, and ground, as it were, into powder; and the clods cleave together, as if glued, as in a drought for want of rain: or the bottles of heaven being unstopped and poured out; or
"sprinkling the dust with this sprinkling,''
as Mr. Broughton. Or rather, pouring on the dust with pouring; that is, pouring down rain, by unstopping the bottles of heaven. The dust, as meal, by water poured into it, cements, unites, and is compacted, and becomes earth, that may be cultivated; is clodded and cleaves together, and may be ploughed and sown.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38. groweth, &c.—rather, pour itself into a mass by the rain, like molten metal; then translate Job 38:38, "Who is it that empties," &c., "when," &c.? The English Version, however, is tenable: "Is caked into a mass" by heat, like molten metal, before the rain falls; "Who is it that can empty the rain vessels, and bring down rain at such a time?" (Job 38:38).
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